Handel, “Israel in Egypt” (1739)


Handel, “Israel in Egypt” (1739)




A Sacred Oratorio
Words attributed to Charles Jennens




1. Recitative (tenor)
Now there arose a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph; and he set over Israel taskmasters to afflict them with burthens, and they made them serve with rigour.
(Exodus 1: 8, 11, 13)

2. Alto Solo and Chorus
And the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and their cry came unto God. They oppressed them with burthens, and made them serve with rigour; and their cry came up unto God.
(Exodus 2: 23; Exodus. 1: 13)

3. Recitative (tenor)
Then sent He Moses, His servant, and Aaron whom He had chosen; these shewed His signs among them, and wonders in the land of Ham.
He turned their waters into blood.
(Psalm cv: 26, 27, 29)

4. Chorus
They loathed to drink of the river. He turned their waters into blood.
(Exodus 7: 18; Psalm cv: 29)

5. Air (alto)
Their land brought forth frogs, yea, even in their king’s chambers.
(Psalm cv: 30)
He gave their cattle over to the pestilence; blotches and blains broke forth on man and beast.
(Exodus 11: 9, 10)

6. Chorus
He spake the word, and there came all manner of flies and lice in all quarters.
He spake; and the locusts came without number, and devoured the fruits of the ground.
(Psalm cv: 31, 34, 35)

7. Chorus
He gave them hailstones for rain; fire mingled with the hail ran along upon the ground.
(Psalm cv: 3; Exodus 9: 23, 24)

8. Chorus
He sent a thick darkness over the land, even darkness which might be felt.
(Exodus 10: 21)

9. Chorus
He smote all the first-born of Egypt, the chief of all their strength.
(Psalm cv: 36, 37)

10. Chorus
But as for His people, He led them forth like sheep: He brought them out with silver and gold; there was not one feeble person among their tribes.
(Psalm lxxviii: 53; Psalm cv: 37)

11. Chorus
Egypt was glad when they departed, for the fear of them fell upon them.

12. Chorus
He rebuked the Red Sea, and it was dried up. He led them through the deep as through a wilderness.
(Psalm cvi: 9)
But the waters overwhelmed their enemies, there was not one of them left.
(Psalm cvi: 11)

13. Chorus
And Israel saw that great work that the Lord did upon the Egyptians; and the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord and His servant Moses.
(Exodus xiv: 31)


14. Chorus
Moses and the children of Israel sung this song unto the Lord, and spake, saying: I will sing unto the Lord, for He hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath He thrown into the sea.
(Exodus xv: 1)

15. Duet (soprano 1 & 2)
The Lord is my strength and my song; He is become my salvation.
(Exodus xv: 2)

16. Chorus
He is my god, and I will prepare Him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt Him.
(Exodus xv: 2)

17. Duet (bass 1 & 2)
The Lord is a man of war: Lord is His name. Pharaoh’s chariots and his host hath He cast into the sea; his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red Sea.
(Exodus xv: 3, 4)

18. Chorus
The depths have covered them: they sank into the bottom as a stone.
(Exodus xv: 5)

19. Chorus
Thy right hand, O Lord, is become glorious in power; Thy right hand, O Lord, hath dashed in pieces the enemy.
(Exodus xv: 6)
And in the greatness of Thine excellency Thou hast overthrown them that rose up against Thee. Thou sentest forth Thy wrath, which consumed them as stubble.
(Exodus xv: 7)

20. Chorus
And with the blast of Thy nostrils the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright as an heap, and the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea.
(Exodus xv: 8)

21. Air (tenor)
The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my lust shall be satisfied upon them; I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them.
(Exodus xv: 9)

22. Air (soprano)
Thou didst blow with the wind, the sea covered them; they sank as lead in the mighty waters.
(Exodus xv: 10)

23. Chorus
Who is like unto Thee, O Lord, among the gods. Who is like Thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? Thou strechedst out Thy right hand, the earth swallowed them.
(Exodus xv: 11, 12)

24. Duet (alto and tenor)
Thou in Thy mercy hast led forth Thy people which Thou hast redeemed; Thou hast guided them in Thy strength unto Thy holy habitation.
(Exodus xv: 13)

25. Chorus
The people shall hear, and be afraid: sorrow shall take hold on them: all the inhabitants of Canaan shall melt away: by the greatness of Thy arm they shall be as still as a stone; till Thy people pass over, O Lord, which Thou ha st purchased.
(Exodus xv: 14, 15, 16)

26. Air (alto)
Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of Thine inheritance, in the place, O Lord, which Thou hast made for Thee to dwell in, in the Sanctuary, O Lord, which Thy hands have established. &nbs p;
(Exodus xv: 17)

27a. Chorus
The Lord shall reign for ever and ever.
(Exodus xv: 18)

28. Recitative (tenor)
For the horse of Pharaoh went in with his chariots and with his horsemen into the sea, and the Lord brought again the waters of the sea upon them; but the children of Israel went on dry land in the midst of the sea.
(Exodus xv: 19)

27b. Double Chorus
The Lord shall reign for ever and ever.
(Exodus xv: 18)

29. Recitative (tenor)
And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. And Miriam answered them: —
(Exodus xv: 20, 21)

30. Soprano Solo and Chorus
Sing ye to the Lord, for He hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath He thrown into the sea.
(Exodus xv: 21)

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